24 Sep The Case For A Large Founding Team
It is common wisdom nowadays that a founding team consisting of 2–3 founders is ideal. Doing it solo is simply too hard. Founder burnout is an imminent possibility, and statistics are simply not on your side. Many early stage investors will tell you outright that they will not fund a single-founder venture.
Until recently, the most common formula for a startup’s founding team was the MBA and techie duo. The MBA would usually be the CEO, and would deal with all the business issues; the techie would own all the technical aspects of the venture.
In recent years, there’s been a shift toward a three-member formula. For consumer startups, the dream team is often described as consisting of a hipster, a hacker and a hustler. This shift is driven by the realization that design is such a critical aspect of a consumer startup that it must be handled by a co-founder.
A typical consumer startup will usually have more than three core domains. The technical side itself is usually split into multiple subdomains, which require specific skills. Then there are marketing, sales, operations and quite a few other domains, which are arguably critical. Aren’t they important as well?
The truth is that if you map out the core domains of a typical startup, you’ll usually end up with more than three core domains. In this article, I’ll make the case for having larger founding teams.
There are many well-known advantages to having a co-founder in each critical role. The level of commitment of a co-founder will always exceed that of an employee. It is hard to overstate the importance of this level of commitment.
For consumer startups, the dream team is often described as consisting of a hipster, a hacker and a hustler.
Founders will usually work harder, will settle for less or no pay and will look at the bigger picture, not just at their strict domain of responsibility. Also, they will willingly do whatever it takes, even if it is not in their comfort zone or would otherwise have been considered beneath their status or level of expertise. In addition, co-founders can support each other when things get tough, and a diverse team is more likely to adapt to changing circumstances.